Meet the Host: Simon

· 3 min read ·

It’s hard to describe how friendships form; harder, again, when the relationship begins over email and Skype. Such was my experience in 2013 as Simon (pronounced “see-moen”) and I began working together. His work ethic, unfailing humor, and diligent humility impressed me from Day 1, and as we had the chance throughout the years to see each other during business trips to Lucerne and Boston, an enduring friendship was built and sustained.

Simon is the consummate chef, with an eye for both flavor and presentation. His skill in the kitchen made our time together a true joy. When we weren’t enjoying the “summer raclette” (it’s traditionally a winter dish) party that he threw together for us at a moment’s notice, he was:

  • Making fresh salad with tantalizing vinaigrette straight from his porch garden
  • Tossing together a beet-endive-tomato dish with oil and vinegar
  • Surprising us with a rich & flaky quiche straight out of the oven (the crust for which he casually mixed together in a few minutes)
  • Using elderflower syrup, herbs from his garden, and a soda stream to make a variety of sparkling iced summer teas, cocktails, and refreshing beverages brimming with flavor
  • Treating us to a tzatziki sauce to perfectly complement the veggie burgers we made for him and our friend Lea one night
  • Casually preparing an assortment of gin cocktails for us to taste
  • OK, OK, let’s mention the raclette night one last time - check out our post and pics of that sumptuous feast!
Simon has mastered the art of the biking selfie!
Simon has mastered the art of the biking selfie!

From being regaled with the story of his now infamous trip to Senegal and Gambia, to biking around Lucerne and the countryside with him (including an awesome hill climb by the Alpnachstad airport - I don’t think either of us ever biked over a tarmac before!), to enjoying his excellent taste in music as the light streamed softly into his apartment, every single moment we shared was a blast.

Our friend Camino talked about how a proper view of Pilatus was essential. Simon’s apartment had that covered.
Our friend Camino talked about how a proper view of Pilatus was essential. Simon’s apartment had that covered.

In short, Simon, being hosted by you was, first and foremost, a delight. Thank you so much for getting together so many of the amazing people you have gathered around yourself in Lucerne, and for looking after our every need. I look forward to our chance to return the favor in the coming years!

Simon giving Sheila some shifting pointers
Simon giving Sheila some shifting pointers

A Q&A Session with Mr. Hospitable - Simon!

What’s your favorite thing about where you live?

The lake and the mountains. In summer you can jump in the lake, you can go for hikes and bike rides. In winter you can you go snowboarding and soak up some sun above the clouds. Lucerne is a postcard come to life. I get to live where other people spend the holidays. I am very lucky!

Teach us some local slang…

  • In the streets: Abstiige, das isch chei Velowäg! = Dismount, this is not a bike road!
  • In the shops: Mir mache gli zue! = We are closing shortly!

Where is the best place you’ve traveled to?

I believe every place has something unique, but to me Senegal and Oman are special memories. The hospitality and generosity I have encountered in these countries are beyond words.

What makes you laugh?

People who can laugh about themselves. It’s a great trait!

What is your favorite meal of the day? What would you eat/drink during it?

Dinner. I don’t really have a favorite dish. But I enjoy cooking and eating with friends and having a glass of wine.

Describe what it’s like to host Sheila & James in three words…

Easy. Fun. Entertaining.

Adventure travel blog by James Simone & Sheila Murray. Travel along with them on their backpacking trip(s) as they actively explore the American West, Europe and beyond:

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